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Author Topic: Unusual selection of textbooks?  (Read 1412 times)

jeffjoe

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Unusual selection of textbooks?
« on: July 21, 2004, 01:40:32 PM »
I was expecting a ton o' casebooks for 1L.  I got my books at registration today.
I just registered for 1L at Nashville School of Law, a part-time night non-ABA law school.
I was a little surprised at some of my texts.


For contracts, I got what I expected a case book of contracts.  At least I think it's a case book.  Studies in Contract Law - Murphy, Speidel, and Ayres

But for torts, the only text book seems to be a hornbook.  The Law of Torts by Dobbs and it says on the cover Hornbook Series.  I was surprised at that.

For criminal law, I got another surprise.  One book is the Tennessee Criminal Justice Handbook, published each year by the state as a supplement to the statutes.
The other textbook and only other book for criminal law is Criminal Law: Examples and Explanations by Singer and La Fond.  No casebook, just examples and explanations.

Wudya think of that?  It's one of the primers that PLS II recommends if I'm not mistaken.  You think maybe Atticus Falcon was wrong about at least one school?
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flecktone

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2004, 02:55:45 PM »
Jeffjoe - Seems funny to see you as a Jr. Member.  Do you think you'll make Sr. Citizen before classes start????

Anyway, I should be receiving my class schedule any day now, but I'm dying to know - how much reading are you supposed to do for the first day of class?  Any written assignments?

jeffjoe

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2004, 03:18:04 PM »
35 pages for contracts

two chapters, two statutes, two articles from the state consitution, the bill of rights and one case for crimes

about 50 pages for legal writing and research.

two chapters and a case for torts


no writing assignment

keep in mind i'm in a part-time non-aba school, so this may not be representative.

Jeffjoe - Seems funny to see you as a Jr. Member.  Do you think you'll make Sr. Citizen before classes start????

Anyway, I should be receiving my class schedule any day now, but I'm dying to know - how much reading are you supposed to do for the first day of class?  Any written assignments?
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smujd2007

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2004, 08:34:11 PM »
I just got a packet in the mail of assignments.  I'm supposed to read two books before school starts, and do all of the "first day" assignments.  What's so funny about this is that the school tells you that your schedule could change right up until the last day of orientation.  So there is no incentive to do the assignments.
Weird.  Was expecting the assignments,  but not the disclaimer about the schedules.
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Coregram

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2004, 09:31:49 PM »
I bet it is pretty representative.  My understanding is there's not much difference in the workload in an individual course whether it's given to part-time vs. full-time students (at least there's not suppose to be....5 credits are 5 credits.)  And while I haven't registered yet at my school (also non ABA accredited, by the school's choice) I have found some of last year's syllabi on their website.  20-30 pages of reading per class session (3 session per week) seems avg. for courses requiring reading, briefing, etc.

As a side note, the casebook one of the profs. uses for property is the same casebook Yale uses, and it is covered in its entirty.

Ryckman_Boy

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2004, 08:06:07 AM »
Your law school is unaccredited "by choice"?  Is that how they're spinning it these days... to the OP: your books are not the usual law school fare, but it doesn't surprise me that an unaccredited night school would tone things down a bit.  No offense, but that type of school is probably more interested in teaching you enough black letter law to pass the bar, and less interested in teaching you broad legal reasoning skills via the case method.

I bet it is pretty representative.  My understanding is there's not much difference in the workload in an individual course whether it's given to part-time vs. full-time students (at least there's not suppose to be....5 credits are 5 credits.)  And while I haven't registered yet at my school (also non ABA accredited, by the school's choice) I have found some of last year's syllabi on their website.  20-30 pages of reading per class session (3 session per week) seems avg. for courses requiring reading, briefing, etc.

As a side note, the casebook one of the profs. uses for property is the same casebook Yale uses, and it is covered in its entirty.

jeffjoe

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2004, 09:19:20 AM »
NSOL is accredited. It is not approved by the ABA.  They say they have never applied for ABA approval.  I don't know why, but I suspect it has something to do with the maximum number of work hours allowed by the ABA.

No offense, but you come across as someone who is looking down your nose at a non-ABA school.

NSOL has higher median GPA and LSAT than a number of ABA schools and has a first time bar exam passing rate higher than 45 ABA schools.  Tread lightly.

I appreciate your viewpoint, but you could make the opposite argument just as easily.  Your school is wasting time playing hide the ball.

In fact, we will be reading the actual cases from the reporters rather than from a casebook.


Your law school is unaccredited "by choice"?  Is that how they're spinning it these days... to the OP: your books are not the usual law school fare, but it doesn't surprise me that an unaccredited night school would tone things down a bit.  No offense, but that type of school is probably more interested in teaching you enough black letter law to pass the bar, and less interested in teaching you broad legal reasoning skills via the case method.

I bet it is pretty representative.  My understanding is there's not much difference in the workload in an individual course whether it's given to part-time vs. full-time students (at least there's not suppose to be....5 credits are 5 credits.)  And while I haven't registered yet at my school (also non ABA accredited, by the school's choice) I have found some of last year's syllabi on their website.  20-30 pages of reading per class session (3 session per week) seems avg. for courses requiring reading, briefing, etc.

As a side note, the casebook one of the profs. uses for property is the same casebook Yale uses, and it is covered in its entirty.
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Coregram

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2004, 10:18:40 PM »
Unaccredited by the ABA by choice is not only how they spin it, it is how I spin it based on the homework I did. 

First, the school is accredited by both the Mass. Board of Education (allowing its graduates to sit for the bar in Mass and after passing, which 81% did last time, to sit in numerous other states) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; the same body that accredits all the undergraduate schools in New England, including both Harvard and Yale.  Interestingly, the NEASC accreditation team at the time included the Dean of the Vt. Law School (ABA accredited), a former dean of NYU Business School (NYU has an ABA accredited law school which he might be familar with), and the Director of Budgeting and Financial Planning of Harvard (another school with an ABA accredited law school associated with it.) (See Florida Board of Bar Examiners, re: Mass. School of Law, Florida Supreme Court Case No. 90,990)  Hard to imagine they would put their professional reputations and creditbility on the line for a school that just "teaches to the bar."

Second, the big reason they choose not to get ABA accrediation now (they did apply and were denied in the early 1980s for some valid reasons that they have since addressed, and were also one of the drivers in the US Govt antitrust action against the ABA) has to do with ABA requirements regarding full-time faculty.  ABA credits a school with one FTE for every full time salaried professor, regardless of how many courses or sections they teach, but only credits a school with .2 FTE faculty for adjunt professors who are employed elsewhere (i.e. practicing attorneys, sitting judges, district attorneys.)  In the ABA's world, the full-time professor teaching a class of 80 has a faculty:student ratio of 1:80, with the sitting judge who's an adjunct professor teaching a class of 20 has a faculty:student ratio of 1:100.  But in which class does the student get more faculty contact?  And which class costs the school more?  Not to mention, almost all full-time faculty at ABA schools "consult" on the side anyway.  Not to sound like AF, but the ABA's interest are more in protecting the professors than in the students.  I suspect that might be NSOL's philosophy as well after scanning their website.

Also, instead of the LSAT, they use their own entrance exam, where you have to read a fact pattern and present arguments for two different sides based on the fact pattern in a well written essay where grammer does count   Sounds more like a law school test than figuring out if Tom sat in front of male private part but behind Jane or behind male private part and in front of Jane (though I feel left out that I didn't have to spend 100 hours playing logic games that have nothing to do with being a lawyer to add 5 precious points to an LSAT score.)

The point is that ABA accreditation doesn't make a school a good school, and the lack of the ABA accrediation doesn't make a school bad.  It is how the school is run and the quality of the education the graduates leave with that is the true test. 

Hopefully, your ABA accredited school will teach you to look beyond labels, do the due diligence research, and then reach your conclusions.  In the meantime, Jeffjoe and myself will have to be satisfied sitting in classes half the size of the ABA accredited ones, paying half the "ABA accredited tuitions" reading the same ABA accredited cases and getting twice the educational value.


Ryckman_Boy

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2004, 11:42:08 PM »
I think you misunderstood what I meant.  I was not implying that a non-ABA school is for dumb people.  I was saying that learning via the case method takes a huge amount of time and is much more tuned to younger students who are straight out of college.  The type of students that attend night school don't have the luxury of learning the law that way.  That's why those schools might skip the case method and go straight to the black letter law.  I meant no offense.  My point was that such a school has totally different goals and parameters than a regular ABA full-time program.

jeffjoe

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Re: Unusual selection of textbooks?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2004, 09:29:08 AM »
Ryckman_Boy, I guess I overreacted.  I'm getting a little thin skinned about my non-ABA school.

I see your point and you may be right.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Thanks for the posting.

Coregram, you don't sound like AF.  I had PLS II and stopped reading it after 150 pages of diatribe.  But I can see that the ABA has strong interest in controling which schools are seen as legitimate.

Frankly, I do not think  the ABA strangle hold on the legal world is for the best.
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